Om posted about his requirements for an UMPC, netbook, handheld or whatever else you want to call it. Me I’ll always call it a cloudbook for in my definition this is a device that is poised to leverage external applications and storage. Anyway, Om’s wishlist went like this;

  1. Instant On
  2. Doesn’t generate too much heat.
  3. Minimum 5 hours of battery life.
  4. Must feature at least four communications options: WiFi, Ethernet, Bluetooth & Wireless Wide Area Network connection to, say, an EVDO or HSPA Network.
  5. Less than three pounds (Batteries included).
  6. Screen size of 3.5 to 8 inches (wide-screen proportioned)
  7. The primary function of the computer should be cloud-based activities that can include everything from listening to live music, reading blogs and watching videos. Writing research reports or cranking out spreadsheets isn’t the primary purpose of these machines.
  8. It should cost no more than $300. This isn’t a computer; it’s a communications device. It should really be an on-the-go device. It is a device for the moments when your cellphone isn’t enough, and laptop is too much. An iPhone should qualify.
  9. Its innards, ports should be geared for Internet-based activities — from making calls on Skype to consuming RSS feeds — though it should be able to handle external peripherals.
  10. In the future it should move away from the keyboard and have a touchscreen interface that allows one to sift through large amounts of data (or web pages) quickly, as cramped keyboards and touchpads can be hard to use.

    There’s also an interesting Dell presentation over on endgadget which looks at the why’s and wherefore’s of their cloudbook strategy.

    While I like Om’s ideas, for me this sort of device, and the way diverse technologies seem to be going, call for a more ambitious wishlist. So in that spirit here is my wanna-have list;

    1. Instant on
    2. Integrated operating system with web browser (or integrated web browser with OS – I’m not fussed either way)
    3. No heat
    4. No practical limit to battery life – solar panels in screen and a rough ratio of 1 hour sun exposure to 8 hours plus working life
    5. All communications options built-in is a given
    6. 1kg or less
    7. Full touch screen functionality (and up to the iJesusPhone loveliness)
    8. No installed apps (it’s a cloudbook FFS!)
    9. A few USB ports but everything else (peripheral wise) can be via comms

    What other wishes do people have?

    Ben Kepes

    Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

    1 Comment
    • It’s funny how all reviewers forget about screen resolution – the very reason I returned the first-generation eeePC after one day… could not deal with the horizontal scrolling to view web pages on the low-res screen.

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